By Jenae R / July 13th, 2020
Ys: Memories of Celceta is a game I played the Vita version of briefly on my PSTV a few years ago, yet never really got very far into. Honestly, back when I bought it, it was just one of those games that didn’t suck me in early on. But I do think it deserves to be given another chance. These early impressions will be about the recently released PS4 port of Celceta and what I think about the game after coming back to it for the first time in quite a while. Oh and you should keep in mind that Ys: Memories of Celceta is also the only Ys game I’ve ever played, I’m not a longtime fan. Seeing as this is merely an impressions piece though and not a full review, you can find our most recent full review of the game over here.
Ys: Memories of Celceta follows the story of Adol Christin, the recurring main character of the franchise. From what I’ve researched about Memories of Celceta, I know it’s a Nihon Falcom remake of a particularly odd entry that had multiple versions way back when which they approved of and provided material for, but didn’t make themselves. The game starts with Adol returning to Casnan from the Great Forest of Celceta, with no memories whatsoever of who he is, or what went on in the forest. It seems that most people who go into this forest never come back.
At the very beginning of the game upon proving himself by saving some miners from a monster in the local mine, Adol is tasked with mapping the local Great Forest for the Governor General, Griselda. She promises he’ll be paid as he periodically reports back his progress. Looking to restore his memories, Adol agrees and his friend Duren decides to go along on the journey for the money. The premise of the game is certainly appealing, exploration into the unknown for rewards can be fun, I definitely like that aspect of Celceta. Plus the lands you explore are full of loot. There are treasure chests throughout the Great Forest of Celceta and you never know what you’ll find. Enemies drop loot as well, but in the form of materials for crafting better stuff to either make use of or sell.
I think the main reason Ys: Memories of Celceta didn’t suck me in the first time was because of the battle gameplay. It’s an action RPG with one button for the basic attack command, one for guarding, one for dashing/dodging and various skills you can attach to those same buttons to be used in conjunction with holding down a different button at the same time. Anyways, the battle system isn’t bad, I just think I didn’t find it super exciting and I remember a few bosses in, I wasn’t feeling that drive to go any further. Based on the early gameplay of this new port, it’s not necessarily more exciting than the first time I played, but I am intrigued by the exploration aspects, having not played in so long and everything feeling new again. Actually, one gameplay improvement I love that wasn’t an option on my PSTV is the ability to zoom the camera in and out with my right analog stick. You can control the zoom by moving the stick right or left, the up and down functions are your party’s AI command for when you want them to evade or go back to attacking. See, the PS Vita version of Memories of Celceta had these commands set as touch controls. Playing on my PSTV, I remember I had to mess around with the L3/R3 replacement controls that brought up digital grabbing hands to set the camera where I wanted. Honestly I found this quite annoying. Being able to move the camera and command your party so easily on PS4 is the biggest change if you’re going from the Vita version (specifically the PSTV version) to PS4.
Graphically the game isn’t looking to impress anyone, it still is very much a PS Vita Nihon Falcom game. But everything looks clear and decent on my TV. Another difference between playing on my PSTV and playing on PS4 is that my PS4 fills the screen with every game, even a port of a Vita title. PSTV games always had slight borders because I’d set my TV to screen fit, which makes it so every game is the resolution they should be and not overly stretched or blurry just to fill the screen. The atmosphere is also what I expect from a Falcom game, after having played their Cold Steel series. Ys: Memories of Celceta was actually my very first Falcom experience. And thus, going back to it on PS4, I now have a little more experience with other Vita games from them.
Overall, I’ve enjoyed my first few hours returning to Ys: Memories of Celceta. I don’t know yet if I’ll find that drive to actually make significant progress this time around. Nonetheless, it’s a quality Nihon Falcom game full of adventure. Just keep in mind it is a relatively basic port, so if you’ve played it before, there’s not really anything new here. If you haven’t played before but you love adventure, basic action RPG styled gameplay and collecting loot, I think it’s worth looking into. At the very least, I’m happy to have a PS4 copy available and I do hope one day I’ll find myself truly invested in Memories of Celceta.
Impressions copy was provided by the publisher.
Nihon FalcomPS4XSEEDYsYs: Memories of Celceta